DGP rejects claim of ISI role in U.P. train accidents

An NIA team at the train accident site in Kuneru in Vizianagaram district on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Arranged pic

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Javeed Ahmed has disputed Bihar Police’s claim that Pakistan’s ISI was behind the recent train accidents near Kanpur. The DGP told The Hindu on Monday that the claims made by three persons in their custody were “off the mark” and could not be corroborated on the ground.

In an internal report, the Railway Ministry has indicated “sabotage” and “criminal interference by outsiders” in at least seven train accidents, including Saturday night’s derailment of the Hirakhand Express in Andhra Pradesh that killed 39 people.

The Home Ministry had asked the National Investigation Agency to probe the claims made by Moti Paswan,Uma Shankar and Mukesh Yadav, who were arrested for allegedly planting a powerful Improved Explosive Device (IED) on a railway track in Ghorasahan in East Champaran district on October 1. The IED was defused by the police.

‘Under duress’

Jitender Rana, Superintendent of Police, East Champaran, Bihar, had told reporters last week that Paswan had revealed that the ISI was involved in the Kanpur rail accidents and that he, along with some others, had gone to Kanpur and executed the job. Two of the accomplices, Zubair and Ziyaullah, had already been arrested in Delhi. The three told an NIA team that they made the claim about ISI involvement under “duress,” a source said.

No trace of explosives: DGP

Mr. Ahmed has said there was no evidence on the ground to corroborate the charge of ISI sabotage in the recent train accidents near Kanpur. “A team examined the three accused in Bihar police custody, but the places they claim to have visited to execute their plan could not be established with any certainty,” said Mr. Ahmed.

“When we inspected the railway tracks right after the derailments, we found no traces of explosives. The accused might have been working for the ISI but as far as the Kanpur incidents are concerned there is the probability that they are off the mark.”

A source in the Railways said half an hour before the Hirakhand Express accident on Saturday, the track patrol man had found the track to be intact.

“However, the rail was found broken at the site after the accident, giving rise to suspicion of criminal interference by outsiders,” a Railway Ministry official said. He added that a rail fracture with 15 inch of tracks missing was noticed at the accident spot.

The Railway Ministry may ask for an NIA probe into other cases as well, including the derailment of Indore-Rajendranagar Express near Kanpur on November 22 last year that killed at least 146 people.

An NIA team has already examined the suspects in the custody of Bihar Police and on Monday two teams were despatched to inspect the Hirakhand railway accident site.

“We might register separate cases in the Kanpur accidents and the Hirakhand incident. We are waiting for directions from the home ministry,” said an NIA official.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 9:40:06 PM |

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